Friday, 29 March 2013

Good Friday!

I ventured out to fish the River Don today as I had the day off work due to it being Good Friday and the start of the Easter weekend. I headed down to one of my favourite pools on the Aberdeen & District Angling Association water. On arrival at the Manse Pool, I was surprised to see only one other car in the car park but it was snowing heavily right enough and not ideal weather conditions to coax anglers out. I fished down through the pool without seeing or touching anything and decided to head out to Manar to meet up with my friend Charlie.

The Manar gauge was reading 11" which is a prime height for the beat and the water temp was around 37f due to some cold nights and snow. I arrived around lunch time and not long after starting, a rod fishing the opposite bank landed an absolute cracking Springer which measured 33" and was estimated to be a good 15lb. After taking scale samples, the fish was swiftly returned. Always a good sign when you see fresh fish being caught on the beat you are fishing. After a run down through the Horse Shoe and Long Pools, Charlie and I headed to the Sheep pool where the 15lber had been caught earlier on. Charlie went in first and I followed down behind. Neither of us touched anything until Charlie reached the tail of the pool when his 3/4" brass Gold Willie Gunn was grabbed by a fish. I looked up to see Charlie's rod bent and made my way down to assist. Charlie initially thought he had hooked a kelt until we saw the flanks of the fish, This was no kelt! After a dogged scrap with lots of runs and the fish diving deep, I slid the net under a magnificent River Don Springer around the 9lb mark. Again, this was another cracking salmon and was in great condition. As I walked back to my rod, Charlie cast to the same lie and gave out a shout. He had hooked another fish out of the exact same spot! I turned and headed back down river but as I got near, the fish spat the hook. It came along side Charlie and he said it was another clean fish about 7-8lbs. Never good to lose a fish but at least the fish were in the taking mood. As I walked back to my rod, there was a fish showed just down from where my rod lay. I made a cast to where I saw the rise and immediately hooked into a fish. It made a couple of good runs but the fight was easily won and Charlie soon had the net under a very well mended kelt. Not a springer but it could have been disturbed as the Springers swam by it's lie on their way upstream. Good to see kelts in such good condition which gives them a better chance of reaching the sea and returning next year.

We both fished on until 6pm but nothing more was hooked by us, although Fred, one of the Manar regulars landed another well mended kelt from the Sheep pool.We retired to the hut for a much deserved beer before heading off. Just as we were leaving the beat, Duncan, another Manar regular, returned a sea liced fish weighing 9lb. 3 fish landed and 1 lost for a 1.5 mile stretch of the Don is great fishing by any standards. Long may it continue!

Good signs for the River Don to see such quality Springers in the system. If only some of the other beats would publicise catches etc to encourage rods to book fishing on this wonderful, forgotten neighbour of the River Dee.

Here are some pictures from today.

Looking upstream in blizzard conditions on the lower Don at the Manse Pool. Nothing doing here so I headed up to the Manar beat.
Cracking River Don Springer! Charlie and his first fish of the season from the tail of the Sheep Pool at Manar. The fish took a 3/4" brass Gold Bodied Willie Gunn on a floating line and a 10ft fast tip. He lost another from the same lie minutes after returning this fish.
The tail of the Sheep Pool where the springers stop for a brief rest after coming up through the fast water from the Upper Wood Pool below. Used to be a top Spring lie but has not produced in recent years for some reason. Hopefully now, after the big winter spates, the pool has returned to it's former glory. We shall soon find out.

No comments:

Post a comment